Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Homecoming Idol


And so John Edwards, America’s very own Political Idol, returned home to a hero’s welcome, after one of the longest and most exhausting temperature-gauging exercises in modern political history.

John’s self-described ‘homecoming rally’ last Saturday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina was all noise and spectacle. Perhaps too much spectacle, and not enough substance – as some have said of John himself? Oh hush. We hadn’t come to cast doubt. We were there to see our Presidential Poster Boy.

John didn’t disappoint. With his inexhaustible energy, he played every role to the hilt: Quarterback Heartthrob, Prom King, School Council President and Debating Champion - he even found time to be his own master of ceremonies.

Indeed, he’s been doing a pretty good impersonation of American Idol’s master of ceremonies, Ryan Seacrest, the past few months. Always coy. Always ready to announce the decision…but not until after the next commercial break! Come to think of it, wasn’t all that all just a contrived media ploy as well…oops, there I go again!

Now, if John is Ryan, does that mean that as the resident English-American acid humorist in Chapel Hill, I’m Simon Cowell? And Hillary is Paula Abdul? And Barack is Randy Johnson? More to the point, when the knock-out voting is all said and done, will John be the one left standing at the Democratic Convention in 2008? Will the audience like him? Does he have enough ‘oomph’ to go all the way?

Maybe John’s a shade too Democratic Lite? All pop ’n polls. But no real heart ’soul. More Clay Aiken than James Brown? But is this fair? John has devoted himself tirelessly these past two years to championing the cause of the disadvantaged in society. However, has this too been an oh-so-careful calculation, designed to tie up the support of the always-important trade union organizing effort during the primary campaign? Call in with your vote…

Granted, the media have Hillary and Barack as the early heavyweight favorites. But John is outrunning every Democratic Candidate in the polls in Iowa, where the first caucuses will be held in 2008. The people there must know something? Hmm. Maybe all they know is that John, who’s been out of any elected office since 2004, has had enough time on his hands to make almost as many political appearances in Iowa as their now-declared Governor, Tom Vilsack.

Oh wash my mouth, and bless my heart! We’d gathered to have a party. Not to ask questions. All hail the conquering hero! Mind you, I’m not sure what he’s conquered yet. But no matter. Pass me a balloon. What was that, dear? Oh don’t be silly. Of course, he’s not going to put out a swimsuit calendar! Then again…?

1 comment:

Robert P said...

John has devoted himself tirelessly these past two years to championing the cause of the disadvantaged in society. However, has this too been an oh-so-careful calculation, designed to tie up the support of the always-important trade union organizing effort during the primary campaign?

Senator Edwards made his money in the law, always for the little guy. His first set of bills when he was elected in 1998 were aimed at helping those most in need, children with Fragile X and other special needs. His very first bill was to create tax breaks for the poorest of our troops, well before "Support the Troops" became the cause du jour.

No, he hasn't been focusing on those most in need for the last two years, he has been doing it his whole professional life. He created computer centers for students at local schools that could not afford one of their own, and he and his wife volunteered there regularly.

Sorry Geoff, do your homework. A quick, acid wit does not a political analyst make, it also takes facts...okay, maybe not if you want to be placed in the pantheon with Rush and Hannity.